The new BO is concerned about my horse's weight. The weather today is absolutely crummy, in the 40s and rainy. He was out with the other three horses in the pasture and he was shivering but the rest were not. The BO put him in the dirt paddock by himself so he could go into the shelter there if he wanted, and gave him LOTS of hay to keep him busy. I'm going to go to TSC tonight after work and pick up a lightweight blanket to keep him dry on days like today. (When it actually gets cold and snowy he has a nice heavyweight winter blanket.)
When the BO called me today about his shivering and to tell me that she put him in the paddock so he could get out of the rain, she recommended (again) that I put him on a senior feed. She wants to give him like 6lbs a day but that just sounds like waaay too much grain to me. I have him on a ration balancer made by Buckeye Nutrition, it's called Gro 'N Win. I said I would check with Buckeye to see what they recommend adding to a horse's diet along with the Gro 'N Win to get a horse to gain some weight. I don't want to add lots, maybe 100lbs. At most, because I don't think he needs a whole lot. He is a 21yo appendix QH and looks to some people like he is underweight because he needs more topline (which is on my list of things to work on with more riding). Adding too much weight will just cause foot problems and maybe back problems too. Also, he's long in the back, so I don't want to turn him into a hammock!
The Buckeye site says if additional calories are needed to add another of their products called Ultimate Finish. Here's the info on that:
Supplements & Treats - BUCKEYE® Nutrition
That looks to me like nothing more than a fancy-pants weight builder supplement. If I wanted to use that product, I'd have to make the 30 minute drive to the closest feed store that carries Buckeye products, assuming that store even has it in stock. Since I have to go to TSC for the sheet anyway I looked to see if they has something similar, and they do. Two things actually. They have their DuMOR brand weight builder supplement, and then they also have this product by Farnam:
Farnam - Your partner in horse care
The Ultimate Finish is 25% fat, while Farnam's Weight Builder is 40%. The calories in Ultimate Finish are from flax seed, rice bran, and soybeans, while the Weight Builder just says flax seed. Either way, I don't have the same concerns about bio-availability of ingredients as I would with a joint supplement, so I don't feel that it's necessary to make the 30 minute drive to the feed store.
Next question... Here's the label from Weight Builder. I'm not sure how many scoops I should aim to feed, one or two? (I would of course start with a small amount and work up.)
Third and final question... I'm sure that the weight builder is designed to be a temporary thing. Once he puts on a little weight, what do you think I should do to keep him that way? Beet pulp? Whole oats? Increase the ration balancer a smidge? Wait and see what happens if he actually gets the proper amount of Gro 'N Win year-round (because I have big doubts whether the previous BO was feeding enough of it in the summer)?
For anyone not familiar with ration balancers, here's a good summary:
Ration Balancer Benefits